Philadelphia Eagles (2010 record: 10-6, finished 1st in the NFC East)
5-Year NFL Draft Review: The Eagles over the last five years have drafted adequately in the first round. Philadelphia did not have a first round pick in 2007 and 2008, but like other years they struck gold in the second rounds. Mostly finding offensive talent such as WR DeSean Jackson, RB LaSean McCoy, and QB Kevin Kolb. In 2010 the second round was kind to them again when they landed Nate Allen, who became starter at free safety and looks to be a future star. On the flip side two recent second round picks DE Victor Abiamiri and DT Trevor Laws are stuck behind others on the depth charts and needs to show they are ready to challenge for starting rolls. Overall, new General Manager Howie Roseman has done a decent job in his short tenure. The future focus now should be to acquire defensive help preferably at cornerback and outside linebacker.
2011-(23rd overall) Danny Watkins - G - Baylor: Watkins was selected to help solidify the interior of the offensive line and to keep Michael Vick from taking a pounding. He has the physical traits to help keep the middle of the pocket from collapsing on Vick. He has a strong lower body that allows him to anchor in pass protection. Is a hard worker and quick study who has only four years of football experience. Only knock on him is he is 26 years old the age where players usually are entering their prime. He is the type of player where you just plug him and play him and should be a fixture along the offensive line for years.
2010-(13th overall) Brandon Graham - DE - Michigan: Graham is an excellent athlete and will be a great compliment to DE Trent Cole when pass rushing. He posted three sacks in his rookie season before tearing a knee ligament. He is a well built defender who does a great job of driving his man into the quarterback. He is more quick than he is fast. Meaning he lacks explosiveness and elite speed but has quick feet and hands that he uses to burst off the ball quickly. I expect the Eagles to find ways to turn him loose in 2011. He has the makeup of a Dwight Freeney, but it is up to him to prove he can be just as good.
2009-(12th overall) Jeremy Macklin - WR - Missouri: The Eagles once again proved with this selection that they almost never choose prospects high based on immediate needs. They drafted Macklin despite DeSean Jackson's super rookie season. These two young men give the Eagles probably the two fastest starting receivers in the league. Macklin has the elite speed to take any pass to the pay window. He needs to show that he can make plays in the red zone.
2008- No first round Pick: Philadelphia first selection did not come until the second round with the 47th pick where they drafted DT Trevor Laws from Notre Dame. He brings size and adds to the depth chart rotation. He has yet to make an impact and push for a starting role. The Eagles had a second pick in the second round and grabbed with the 49th pick WR DeSean Jackson. Jackson immediately paid dividends and had a sensational rookie season. He gave the team a game breaking speed playmaker not only in the passing game, but also on special teams with kickoffs and punt returns. Philadelphia showed once again that they can find great talent in other rounds besides the first round of drafts.
2007- No first round Pick: The Eagles selected QB Kevin Kolb with the 36th pick and then DE Victor Abiamiri with the 57th pick in the second round. Kevin Kolb's value has increased since getting playing time as a starter. He has shown the ability to make plays in the passing game and be a franchise QB. Michael Vick's arrival and improved play as a QB has the Eagles thinking about trading Kolb in 2011 for draft picks and/or players while his value is high. Victor Abiamiri is stuck on the depth chart behind Trent Cole and 2010 first round pick Brandon Graham.
Future Outlook: Philadelphia is one of the best franchises at scouting talent and then acquiring who they need to fit their systems. Andy Reid is great as a coach and gets the best out of his players. The combination of Coach Reid, the scouting department, and the front office is the reason this franchise has been in playoff contention every year the past decade. QB Michael Vick who started the 2010 season as Kevin Kolb's backup got his chance to start because of an injury to Kolb. He emerged as an MVP candidate and led the Eagles to the NFC East title. Vick took a pounding at the tail end of the season due to less than stellar play from the offensive line. Granted a lot of that had to do with Vick trying to extend the play then getting sacked. They addressed that problem with the selection of guard Danny Watkins in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. The Eagles have plenty of weapons on offense with game breaking speed at just about every skill position and led the league in rushing at 145.2 yards per game. If the Eagles want to get to that Super Bowl in 2011 the defense will have to improve in a couple of areas. CB Asante Samuel is a pro bowler and rookie free safety Nate Allen is a future star, but they need starters opposite of them. The main improvement needs to be the red-zone defense. Philly allowed tds on 33 of 43 opponent possessions inside the 20 yard line which was an NFL worst. Against Green Bay in the playoffs the Packers went 3 for 3 in the red zone in a 21-16 victory. If the Eagles can correct these areas of concern I don't see why they could not be holding the Lombardi trophy at the end of 2011.